Rory McIlroy believes that he could have been even closer to the lead at the Wells Fargo Championships had he been able to capitalise on some of the opportunities that presented themselves to him.
McIlroy shot a three-under-par score of 69 at Quail Hollow on the opening day of play, to leave him three shots behind the experienced Argentine, Angel Cabrera, who leads the tournament overnight.
It means that the Irishman, who is amongst the favourites to win the competition, which takes place in Charlotte, is well poised after the first day and he told reporters that he was reasonably pleased with his round.
“It was a good start, good score,” McIlroy told reporters. “I probably could have squeezed a couple more out of it.”
McIlroy’s formed dipped in the 2013 season, but he has shown signs of promise this year and been amongst the most impressive players on the tour this year – claiming four top ten finishes in the six PGA Tour events he has played so far.
He also is proven at the Quail Hollow golf course, having won his first PGA title here.
Therefore the signs are that McIlroy will be right in contention on Sunday and he says that he is delighted that he the things he has been working on in training – namely putting – are beginning to show in competitive play.
The 24-year-old said: “I holed some nice putts today, which was good to see.
“At least it tells me the stuff I’m working on is going in the right direction.”
McIlroy’s putting was indeed relatively sharp over the first eighteen. He one-putted five times, consecutively, to close off the front-nine, but it could have been even better if he had managed to find his form on the greens at holes three, four and 16, where he dropped shots.
It means that he is now in tied seventh position and well in contention to have a big say in who is the eventual winner of the tournament.
He is joined on three-under-par by a clutch of big names who will also be hoping to win the title – these include the likes of Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Vijay Singh.
The quality doesn’t stop when he looks at who is ahead of him, either, meaning McIlroy’s task of closing the gap will not be an easy one.
Phil Mickelson is one shot behind Cabrera, in tied second, whilst Webb Simpson and Stewart Cink – who are both at four-under-par – will also be hoping to capitalise on their good opening day showing.
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